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Time for a clean out at the AGU


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#1 Jim

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 10:38 PM

Following yet another schemozzle by the Australian Golf Union, surely it is time for Col Phillips and his other long serving offsiders to do the right thing and quit for the good of golf in Australia. The latest episode on Thursday is quite possibly their worst effort yet, with the situation of play being cancelled on a day simply perfect for golf taking the cake. You would think they would have learnt from their stuffups at Royal Melbourne during the 80s. They also butchered Royal Adelaide in 1998 and made a mess up at The Grand last year. To see them blaming Victoria Golf Club, knowing they can't respond due to confidentiality agreements sickens me. The AGU was responsible for the setup and running of the event, and should accept responsibility.

They are also secretive and incompetent on the administrative side, with Golf Link proving an expensive flop which has failed to deliver what was promised. And now they want us to bail it out. And then there is the involvement at Moonah Links, which is having a direct and detrimental affect on several nearby AGU affiliated clubs, who are understandably annoyed that their peak body has set up a facility in direct competition to them. Presumably if Moonah Links fails we, the ordinary club golfer, will be expected to bail them out financially for that as well.

After such a long and sorry period of administrative and event management incompetence, it is time for heads to roll at the AGU, starting at the top.



#2 Ben

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 10:54 PM

As long as I can tee up at Eastwood every saturday morning I couldn't care less about who is running the AGU smile.gif.

Cheers

Ben



#3 heckler

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 11:08 PM

How is GolfLink an expensive flop?

As far as I'm aware it cost me nothing so far and will cost $2.75 next year. That's hardly going to break the bank to provide a national handicap database which can be accessed 24/7.



#4 judgesmails

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 11:41 PM

Does any one else think that the Guy doing the presentations on Sunday at teh Oz Open had hit the Chardonay a little hard during the day??? He sounded like he was well and truly sloshed as he spluttered and spat his way through the speech. He was so bad, I reckon Tim Webster could have done a better job! He may have said something like,

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your winner Alan Stevenson, so Alan, happy to hold of Ricky Been by a 1 shot with that bogie 4 on the last? What do you plan to do with your winners cheque, cash it??
Also must thank our runners up, Ricky Been, Darren Baddsdotcom and Craig 'OliveOil' Parry.
So Alan, I hear youre hanging up the clubs for a while and heading back to Tour School?? Are you going to give golf away and become a Tour Guide??
Thats all from the Hold On open



#5 admin

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Posted 25 November 2002 - 11:49 PM

Hi Heckler,
While it is true that $2.75 is a small fee to pay, it is the indirect costs from your membership fees at your golf club etc which were spent by the AGU and Cendent to come up with a non-internet based system only a couple of years ago. I am not sure of all the details but I think a fair bit of the blame can be put on to Cendent as well as the AGU.

Anyone with half a brain would have known that the only way that the GolfLink system would thrive in a country the size of ours, was to make it internet-based and thereby accesible 24/7 and a great marketing tool also.

I couldn't believe it when I saw a computer sitting in the corner of the local golf club with everyone's details, handicaps etc, which no-one could access if the club wasn't open. The GolfLink website was very ordinary also, let's hope they get it right this time. It is decisions like that that show just how out of touch they are with what is happening.

Of course as we run a golf site I am very glad that there are people like that controlling the golf industry ...it makes our job much easier laugh.gif

J



#6 hind0

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Posted 26 November 2002 - 12:59 AM

Could it have anything to do with most golf clubs and organisations, iseek excepted, being run by the older half of the population?



#7 hind0

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Posted 26 November 2002 - 01:03 AM

And another thing, I don't know why they didn't just add a surcharge for golfers from the outset, make the thing workable to begin with abd everybody would have been happy.

I mean, if there was a $5 or so surcharge added to members fees at your club, you would most likely not even know about it. My annual fees went up about $40 last year and if $5 of that was for GolfLink then that would have been fine.

As it is the Royal has only been on GolfLink for about a month or so and I for one think it is now a pretty good system.



#8 Ben

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Posted 26 November 2002 - 01:18 AM

I agree Hino. Golflink is great. I'd be happy to pay $5 per year from the onset. I'm more worried about our fee's going up 5% per year smile.gif

Cheers

Ben



#9 hind0

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Posted 26 November 2002 - 01:52 AM

I agree Hino.  Golflink is great.  I'd be happy to pay $5 per year from the onset.  I'm more worried about our fee's going up 5% per year smile.gif

You mean club membership fees, as opposed to GolfLink fees, right Ben?

If so, I agree. My club fees in the last three years have increased by something like $200. Sure, some of that was GST related, but there's still a hefty increase in there.

And this year our club decided that, for the first time, they would not offer insurance to members for loss of clubs on golf club property.

So ultimately it's costing more and I'm getting less. :roll:



#10 admin

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Posted 26 November 2002 - 02:28 AM

Could it have anything to do with most golf clubs and organisations, iseek excepted, being run by the older half of the population?

Definitely Hindo, not to be ageist of course, but yes that seems a huge problem in the Australian Golf Industry when it comes to moving forward with technology. We struggle daily to get scores and details of tournaments that should be available in XML or some other internet standard and we just keep hitting brickwalls.

I agree with everyone regards to adding the price to annual green fees, as no-one would notice in a yearly fee and the money could be put towards some great causes. (iseekgolf ? laugh.gif )



#11 Jim

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Posted 26 November 2002 - 07:48 AM

You boys are being very kind to Golf Link and the AGU. Golf Link is an example of the old fogeys at the AGU being caught up in the dot com boom and susbsequent crash. One of the great features promised by Golf Link was that if you visited another club then you would only have to swipe your card and get your correct handicap. This has never happened, and is generally a shot or more out. Plus I would imagine something approaching 98% of all handicapped rounds are played at the members home club, so again what is the point of spending big dollars on a national system. The software the clubs have installed will still work equally well whether or not it is connected to Golf Link. I can't see why the nations 483,752 golfers should bail out the AGU for a collective $1.21m for a system that is practically worthless anyway. A least the Victorian Golf Association had the good sense to vote against the proposal, it's just a shame it was carried by the other states. And given that this is only one of the many stuffups committed since the ascendancy of Col Phillips in 1979, I repeat, it is time for a major shakeout at the AGU.



#12 John J Jones

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Posted 26 November 2002 - 08:26 AM

I never thought I'd see the day but here it goes. I agree with Jim. 8O I'm struggling to think of a controversy around a golf course and how it's setup for a tournament in this country other than what seems like the annual shambles with the Australian Open. Our National Title runs the risk of being a laughing stock because at present it is being run by well meaning people who run one professional tournament a year.

Am I alone in thinking that the AGU models itself on the USGA and fiddles with courses so they are "more suitable". Royal Adelaide was turned into a paddock of hay because "the Open has to be tough and demanding so it is a respected Championship". Can anyone else remember Peter Thomson's words beforehand? Then we go to the Grand, a nice members course that even the architect, Greg Norman (with thanks to Bob Harrison) says was NOT meant to be a Championship course. Not content to just go there they then had to fiddle the course by shortening a par 5 and making it a par 4. We then got to see 4 days of guys playing from the same place in the left rough because that's where all the tee shots ran to.

Now we have the AGU telling us Peter Thomson will have a far greater role in the future. Thommo is probably the greatest male Australian golfer ever but surely at 74 years of age and 20 years after finishing playing for a living it's time for him to pass the baton of stewardship of Australian golf to another generation. Pushing Thommo is not evidence of an organisation looking forward but a clear sign they are looking backward to a time they were more comfortable with.

The Australian Open, our premier golf tournament is being devalued. I agree with Jim, wouldn't it be a good idea to let at least the course preparation and daily setup to a professional tournament organiser?

JJ



#13 Uncle_Leo

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Posted 28 November 2002 - 05:23 AM

I agree with Jim and JJJ. Heads must roll at the AGU, but that, in itself, is not punishment enough.

May I suggest that all those found guilty are given a life sentence of ONLY ever being allowed to play that piece of crap course Moonah Links for the rest of their lives. Thats should put them off golf for ever. Talk about falling on thier own swords...

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